Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Music Teachers National Association, Inc. #00052

Submission Number:
00052
Commenter:
Kristi Baker
State:
Kansas
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Music Teachers National Association, Inc.
Matter Number:

131-0118

I support MTNA in its wish to get this unpleasant matter behind all of us and return to business as usual, despite their right to wage a court battle which I believe they have a good chance of winning. In their ruling, the Federal Trade Commissioners obviously overlooked or misconstrued several key points. Point number 1: the clause in question is not now, nor has it ever been enforced as a mandate. It is merely a suggestion which most of MTNA's members follow voluntarily. Those who do not are in no way officially penalized for their actions. Point number 2: the clause is designed to encourage open, honest dialogue between music professionals regarding their handling of students' instruction and coaching and to discourage the solicitation of students without any contact with the current teacher. True music professionals already recognize that a periodic change in studios can be beneficial to the student, and further, that such change is a fact of life in this business. What the clause addresses is unscrupulous and unprofessional behavior, pure and simple. It does not, however, put this address in the form of a legal mandate. By treating the clause as if it does, the Federal Trade Commission has overstepped its bounds. As a music professional who routinely accepts transfer students from other teachers studios, not always with the departing teacher's blessing but always with her prior knowledge, I view the solicitation clause as a welcome guideline for the operation of an honest business and nothing more. It encourages necessary dialogue that most honest professionals engage in as a matter of recourse. Furthermore, I take great exception to the Federal Trade Commission's assertion, through its ruling, that the immoral and unscrupulous business practices of a couple members which prompted this case are, in fact, acceptable. What are we teaching our children?!